Comments on Previews of PBS Vietnam Series
Reports and analysis from people who attended local preview events with Ken Burns and Lynn Novick
Note: There is a companion documentary, to be streamed online on September 15 and shown on Oregon Public Broadcasting on October 2nd. It is called, "The Vietnam War Oregon Remembers." You can learn more about it at opb.org/Vietnam. We wonder if other parts of the country are also developing documentaries. From a quick look at the website, it appears that most of it is interviews with vets, and that there's also coverage of Vietnamese refugees in Oregon There is some coverage of the anti-war movement, but the photos up on the website are from Portland or from Oregon State in Corvallis. There doesn't seem to be anything about the anti-war movement in the Eugene area, which was militant, diverse, creative, and included anti-war vets.
Christopher C. Jones7/29/17 - San Francisco Preview
July 20, 2017
Tragically, as has been the case, not only does this mythology prevent reconciliation, it may well be counterproductive to veteran healing by providing a refuge of sorts in which veterans may avoid facing the reality of their experiences – healing requires that we move beyond illusion and mythology. Just as tragically, it has allowed our leaders to ignore the lessons of Vietnam, to again portray militarism and war as palatable, to entice another generation of young people to enlist in the military, and to fight perpetual wars of choice in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.
Apparently, Burns views the war as a "virus" and the documentary
as a post-virus "vaccination" or healing salve. I fear the effect of the
documentary will be to help us swallow and digest the war, rather than
throw it up in a way that honors and reinforces popular, good sense
opposition to the Iraq war and to other similar military adventures,
including, eerily reminiscent of Vietnam, current dangerous increases
in the numbers of US troops being sent to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Flyer prepared for distribution at a Seattle preview:
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